Politics Democracy Day

The Coalition of NGOs under the UN Department of Global Communications (Cunangos) has called on governments to be transparent, responsive and accountable in measures taken to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a press statement issued in Accra on Tuesday, and copied to the GNA to mark the day, Cunangos observed that some emergency measures taken by governments across the globe to deal with the pandemic could undermine the tenets of democracy.

Madam Theophiline Bannerman, Head of Public Affairs of the Coalition who signed the statement, therefore, emphasized the need for governments to ensure that Covid-19 response programmes were legal, proportionate, non- discriminatory and protected human rights and the rule of law.

She said though misinformation was flooding the media, especially, social media that should not lead to censorship.

The statement also called on governments to respect and protect human rights, freedom of expression and of the press, freedom of information and freedom of association, because they worked together to fight the novel virus.

The statement noted that some countries in Africa and across the world would be holding elections amid the pandemic, and called on the electoral bodies to put in place measures to ensure full participation of all eligible voters.

Cunangos urged African governments to invest in building democratic institutions to promote growth and sustenance of democracy on the continent.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.

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